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“Wonderful holiday”

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Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kikambala
West Yorkshire
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Wonderful holiday”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

We had an amazing time. We went to this resort purely for the wedding of our son and now our daughter in law. We only stayed here, they actually had their wedding at the Maridadi hotel which is just up the beach. Royal reserve was a lovely place, we read the other reviews but knew what we were letting ourselves in for. I admit that RCI should put some money into the place to spruce it up a little but it was ok, i'm quite fussy when it comes to staying in hotels but this suited me very well. I did take my own net which Im glad I did because ours had holes in it, so we just changed it and then I left it at the orphanage on my return. the staff couldn't do enough for you, they were really friendly, the grandchildren loved it around the pool. As Steve P says, befriend one of the beach boys, or 2 - we became friends with Adam and Julius they were very good indeed - we bought fresh fruit from and other bits and pieces, we even arranged our safar with the beach boys and it was excellent. The hotel tell you not to arrange safaris or trips through beach boys and they tell you not to give them your money before you get your goods but to be honest I think any hotel would tell you this because the beach boys do a good job and by giving them your custom it is taking it away from the hotel. Everyone has to survive but to be honest if I am spending my time in a country with so much poverty I like to think I put some of my money into the community, which we did and I have no grumbles whatsoever, we were looked after very well by the beach boys. If any of you are reading this and are going, if you meet adam or Julius say mamma waynie sends her love! Some of the food we ordered was available but we went out of their peak season really. The weather was good, we had rain quite a few days but only for about 15 minutes then its really hot. The beach boys are regulated by the authorities and have to pay to sell their wares on the beach, befriend them and you will be fine. The hotel does need a bit of tlc but this is up to the time share people - RCI, please don't let it go down hill its too nice. We went for a walk around the village which was very good and we met a young lad called Eric who walked around with us and then he gave me a little gift on the beach a few days later. Lovely lad. Over a 2 week period of eating and drinking in we spent about £550 and this included drinks for others on some occasions and also meals sometimes for our grandchildren. Good holiday had by all and the wedding was fab !! We had manicure and pedicure, they do pester a little but if you are strong and just tell them you are not interested they will leave you alone, although a manicure and pedicure cost me about £16 for both !! very good too.

Room Tip: we were in A5 overlooking the pool and the bar, good room, very quiet.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank magicalholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

I traveled to this resort with my fiancee and her parents back in April. We booked this resort because it was part of a time share exchange program. Prior to our visit we read some of the reviews on TripAdvisor so we had an understanding on what we were getting ourselves into (old resort, weak amenities, local guys on the beach trying to sell stuff, etc...).

Here is how our trip went. We arrived to the airport in Mombasa and were immediately picked up by the hotels old run down van and a man named Thomas. He was very friendly and helpful with our luggage. He also gave us some insight about the area and what to do and what not to do. Once we arrived we were greeted with fresh drinks and a NOT so friendly front desk staff. The girl was rude and not helpful at all. They were trying to sell us all these travel packages and safari tours. We did not need these since we had previously booked our safari through a separate company. We checked into our room in the back of the hotel in a muggy/stagnate area. The room was decent but not great. We stayed here one night and then went on our overnight safari which was AMAZING!

After our safari we returned to the hotel and asked to upgrade to an ocean front room. It was an extra $20 per night and worth every penny. We stayed in this room for 4 nights, had wonderful views of the ocean, great sunsets, and even lightning storm that came through right over the hotel. We played cards, drank a couple brews and watched the lightning strike about 20 feet from the hotel. it was so cool! We got to know the staff very well during the stay and they were all the nicest people you could ask for. So helpful and just wanted to do whatever they could to make us happy.

So, as my title states, "Rough Start, Great Trip", it's exactly that. Just be patient for the first day, upgrade to the ocean front rooms, and enjoy the trip. The hotel is a bit run down, the beach isn't that great, the Beach Boys (guys selling stuff) are annoying at first but just ignore them or buy your self a couple key chains like we did. The carpentry on these wood key chains is actually vey impressive.

Enjoy your trip!

Room Tip: Pay the extra few bucks for the beach front room upgrade.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Scott_and_Jessica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This was our fourth hotel stay in Kenya and was to be a period of rest and relaxation after our safari.
I was looking forward to this stay as the promotional material had described it as "your dream come true " "you'll find the reality even better than you imagined". Correctly it should have read your nightmares come true and the reality is worse than you can imagine!!

On return home I have read some of the previous reviews and I can't believe people have stayed at the same resort. They really do not give an accuarate picture at all.

Simply put is that the resort units are grubby and neglected with no evidence of any maintenance for some time. The hotel is drab and disappointing. They no longer display the star rating now since 2007 but at a guess I would put this at a 2 star resort only. I say these things because people should be aware of what they are going to. Ours was to be a holiday of a lifetime but the unit was is such a poor state I cried. An example is chipped rusty bath limescale coated shower heads, dirty toilet brushes, holes in the mosquito nets, dirty paint work and so much more. Our one meal in the restaurant took 1 hour 40 mins to arrive and one meal was inedible.
I understand the resort is going through a bad patch and they intend to update it next year but for all those poor guest booked to stay until then I do feel sorry for them.
We stayed less than 12 hours and moved to the Salama Hotel along the beach.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the beach are supposed to be the best but you pay a £20 per day. I wouldn't...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank robcat3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Although we gave it poor we had a really good holiday, yes it needs some TLC. But the staff are excellent. However everything is money based and expensive, the shop was almost empty but at least 30% above the nearest supermarket. Drinks highest we paid anywhere including safari lodges. Do NOT have anything to do with excursions provided by the resort and do not believe anything said by those staff. Nor believe anything they about the beach boys, the excursion manager was one once. The beach boys are actually self and officially regulated and the best way to deal with them is to befriend one then they will make your holiday not break it. Yes they can be intense at first but we had no problems once we had "our own" and we had many laughs. But if you want a safari shop around the beach boys can help but there are others options including the internet before you leave home. Again do not use the on site excursion services.

Room Tip: Inspect the room first, look at the condition of equipment and turn things on from Air con to taps
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Steve P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Ok Here Goes if you are thinking of going here my first bit of Advice is Do It
My partner and I have just spent two amazing weeks at this hotel ok the rooms need a little TLC but they are huge
The staffs in the hotel are amazing
It is a Total chill out place with Amazing Pools and Grounds but I would not recommended it for Children
The food at the restaurant was very good and there are other local ones who will come and pick you up and drop you off
We took an amazing Safari and many trips with the Beach Boys
A must USE THE BEACH BOYS THEY ARE SAFE
Would recommend that you try to find Moses or Francis they hang out in front of the hotel on the Beach (not allowed in the hotel grounds)
These guys will look after you and they are a lot cheaper than the hotel trips and much better trips
We felt safe and secure with these guys at all times
One bit of advice they will ask you for a deposit for the trip usually about 10 dollars and then ask you to fill out a tatty form Do It they will then ask you for the rest of the money when they pick you up from outside the hotel
Most of the times they need this for the fuel for the trip and to pay for the passes to dive ect
Hope you have an Amazing Time if you visit
Simon

Room Tip: All Good Large Rooms and even a pull down bed in the Lounge in Double Rooms
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank simon6969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnpeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We arrived at the Royal Reserve on June 15 and used it as our home base till June 29. We were very comfortable there. I agree with some of the previous reviewers, if you are looking for European or American 5 star status, this won't fit, but it was clean, comfortable and the staff was fabulous. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with our daughter and son-in-law. The air conditioning worked very well and we had plenty of room with our kitchen, 2 bedrooms and living room dining room area. The kitchen and bathroom were much like you might have at your lake cottage, but it was perfectly adequate. Yes, the towels might be a little frayed on the edges occasionally, but were clean, so it was no problem. The housekeeping staff did a great job, and often left a beautiful flower arrangement on our beds to welcome us. The pool in the centre of the complex was a true delight! It was very clean. The staff were what really made the resort. If you approached them with a smile, they returned the smile and were very eager to be of any help. They helped us learn Swahili words and answered any questions we had on the Kenyan culture. Coming back from our safaris felt like we were coming "home" and everyone was so welcoming. My husband is celiac, so needed gluten free food. He had no trouble at all. They knew what that meant, and were always able to supply what he needed. The food was good, with one exception- the beef was very tough, but that was the only negative note we had. The English breakfast was particularly good. The serving staff, especially Patrick, Basil and Albert, were wonderfully attentive and helpful. We had laundry done once, and it was impeccably perfect! The little mini mart store was a great place to buy bottled water, or other little necessities, plus some gifts. Yes, the resort is not in the main stream, but we thoroughly enjoyed being driven through the little village into Mombasa- it truly let us get a sense of what Kenyan life was. Simon, who co-ordinated any safaris or excursions you wanted, was excellent at arranging tours to accomplish what was on our wish list. We went scuba diving- Jacko arranged this, and master diver Paul was fabulous! We went snorkeling, had an evening boat cruise, toured ancient ruins, visited an old fort and rode horses on the beach and road camels. These events were customized to our wishes and needs- Simon was so very helpful and accommodating! The beach was a little frustrating, as the beach boys were there, and very persistent in offering their tour services or their handicrafts. There is nothing the resorts can do about this, as the beach is public area. Simon arranged drivers to take us to the numerous activities- we always felt very secure and well looked after with these drivers. They were always on time and stayed with us until we were either in another guide's care, or back at the resort. We never felt unsafe. I would definitely go back to the Royal Reserve, and would recommend it to anyone. You will be comfortable and very well cared for. Thank you to Simon and all your wonderful staff for helping to give us an amazing trip of a lifetime!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We agree with Kev361.

This is now our third visit to the Royal Reserve in Kanamai and we enjoy it more each time we go, especially as we really like to have peace and tranquility. Please note we aim to go in May outside the school holiday period.

The hotel is in the "old English Colonial style" - with excellent hot water system for the bath and good air conditioning, both things we are keen on. However don't expect a five star European or US hotel, as you are in Kenya.

They have two very nice pools but no Jacuzzi - but the temperatures are so high you wouldn't really enjoy it if they had it.

They have a wonderful massage service which we used twice - as we have done each of the previous years. Prices are very reasonable.

You can use the Internet just ask at the front desk.

The hotel puts on some great evening local entertainment (usually at 9pm) with - for example- local Massai Warriors dancing or local diverse acrobats .

The Kenyans are very friendly but shy, but in the Royal Reserve if you greet them with "Jambo" they light up and are very chatty. But I guess they have got to know us quite well by now.

We found this a home from home. But remember this is Africa - just relax and give a little on the timing. After all everything is on Kenyan time - and remember you are going to relax from the rat race!

Please note that this hotel is now an RCI Silver star not Gold Crown as Cheryl from Germany suggested.

However forget using the beach. People have talked about the pest of the beach boys and I asked about this. It is not something RCI can do anything about (and when I have gone to other hotels they have a similar problem.)

The problem with the beach boys apparently is that none of the beaches in Kenya are private and so the boys have a legal right to patrol them, searching out victims who are stupid enough to sign up to their safaris or nature walks or buy their often substandard goods (if you are offered ebony try scratching it lightly and you will often find that it is no more than black shoe polish over a cheaper wood).

Don't be fooled - the cheap safari is not necessarily a safe option, While they might be a bit cheaper than offered by the Royal Reserve - they often carry no insurance and if their vehicle breaks down - tough on you. They don't come and get you as Kenyan Smiles (who Royal Reserve use) will - if there were to be a breakdown. Cheap is a false economy here.

If you want a tip for a great Safari go to Tavo East and Tavo West and - especially Saltlick and ask to stay at the hotel on stilts, which is out of this world! Go for Rm 010 if you can at Saltlick)

If you want a relaxing holiday - then I would happily recommend the Royal Reserve. We felt safe and they have good security.

As we made our own breakfasts in the room hence I haven't given a score below for breakfasts.

We plan to go again next year DV
Martin & Maddy 13th May 2013

Room Tip: Best rooms are beach side Rms 84 and 92 seem the best
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Martin and Madd... D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club

Property: Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club
Address: Kanamai Rd, Kikambala, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Kikambala
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kikambala
Number of rooms: 46
Also Known As:
Royal Reserve Safari And Beach Club Hotel Kikambala
Royal Reserve Safari And Beach Club Kenya/Kikambala

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